Can we talk about taking responsibility? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-20-2009, 09:23 PM
 
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Kidzaplenty, I'm so sorry for your loss. Would you mind sharing what happened? I understand if you don't want to.
Rebecca
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here, back to thank all for their input. I have been offline since I moved across the country, but was pleased to come back and see my thread still going.

I have enjoyed reading what everybody has to say. I feel pretty strongly about what I have said in the past, and, of course, it's very validating to read that there are others that see my position. Of course it's not for everybody, only a select few have what it takes to UC, and all the good and bad that comes with it.

Non Practicing Midwife, going back to school! Mamma to my 3 loves, living each day to the fullest.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by poiyt View Post
Remembering that this is a UC board...

Mommato5 - what happened with you, and your daughter was completely tragic and I am very sorry it happened. I cannot (no one can really) begin to comprehened how you feel, but know that nothing I (or probably anyone) every says is meant to make you feel guilty or to snark on you. It is merely how I feel.

Taking responsibility in a UC/UP is completely different than having an unplanned UC. The unplanned UC isnt really taking responsibility because as was stated your midwife found things that should have been concerning and told you about it. The responsibility for your care (and inevitably your daughters) was with the midwife. Taking responsibility in a UC/UP is about understanding (and yes, accepting) that 'burden'. If any UC'er had any red flags during her pregnancy she wouldnt just let those slide (just as we shouldnt let a midwife let those things slide, or an OB if we feel an uneasiness)..she would seek out answers (from whatever method she felt comfortable) until she had reassurance. Or (and this is a big or and I dont claim its the right or) some UC'ers believe that we shouldnt interfere in the process at all, and if a baby is meant to pass shortly after birth (even from something that could be saved at a hospital) than it is meant to pass.

I am not faulting anyone for the death of a child; it isnt my place. All Im saying is, in taking responsibility we must take it back from MW's...or if we have placed some responsibility in them (or OB's) and we feel something is off we must fight to figure it out, or find a provider that will figure it out...
:

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Old 02-21-2009, 11:10 PM
 
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I went through the same process. I think sometimes hospital birthers tend to abdicate their responsibility for their births. It's like we must assign fault for everything, and it's very important that if something goes wrong, WE are not the ones to blame. I decided that if something did go wrong, people would blame me and I would deal with it, but that I made the best choices I could for my family. I figured if something awful happened, I'd feel equally miserable regardless of where I gave birth.

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Old 02-22-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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Okay, I've been thinking long and hard about this, and here is the upshot of where I'm at, personally, at the moment.

If I ever get pregnant again I would be strongly considering UC. All things being equal I probably would UC. If there were no other consideration I would have no problem taking responsibility for my birth. I hold myself responsible for the trauma I, and my DD, suffered during a homebirth transfer last time, even though there probably wasn't a lot I could have done differently in the situation I was in. So, just by dint of going to the hospital, or having a HB, I don't believe that that relieves me of any responsibility. If I weighed all the pros and cons and decided that overall I believed that UC was the best choice for me and my baby then I would be at peace with the outcome of that, even if it did happen that my baby died because of an unlikely complication that we couldn't get assistance for quickly enough because of being at home. I would be heartbroken, but I think I would accept that as a risk I took and understood, weighed against the all-too-likely risks of terrible things happening in a hospital birth.

But what stops me here is that I'm not living in a vacuum. It's not just me involved. If I had a hospital birth and my baby died as a direct result of my choice to birth in a hospital, I would feel exactly the same responsibility and grief as if my baby died at home as a result of that choice. But in one instance I would be surrounded by people full of sympathy and compassion who would allow me to grieve, hold me and support me. In the other I would be viewed by the vast majority of the people in my life as having directly caused my baby's death, and so undeserving of sympathy or support. Not that the people in my life are so horrible, but honestly that's how they're taught to think. I doubt I'm alone in feeling like this. Anyone else?

And to those who have UCed, how did you get past the fear, not of a terrible outcome per se, but of being blamed for that outcome by your community; family, friends, neighbours, colleagues... ?

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Relynn View Post
Kidzaplenty, I'm so sorry for your loss. Would you mind sharing what happened? I understand if you don't want to.
Rebecca
I don't really mind sharing.

My daughter's accident was not a result of UC or birthing at all, she was a year old. However, the concepts are the same, which is why I share my experience in this thread.

No matter how you look at it, you take risks every day, in everything you do, every choice you make, every decision you make, and every action you do, as well as actions you choose to not do.

When the unexpected happens you have two options, you can either deal with it or not deal with it. And then you have to choose to accept it or blame someone else so you don't have to. Granted, there are times when others are to blame, however, I have found that in most of the time there are choices we personally make that could have changed the outcome, and very few times are we truly and completely not responsible in some, even if small, way.

When things go wrong, it is very difficult to accept that we did something (the best case senario) not so great that allowed it to happen or (worst case senario) something totally stupid and completely irresponsible. So we like to be able to pass the blame along to someone else and remove ourselves from the resonsibility.

But, when it all comes down to it, we have to live with the consequences one way or another.

For example, in my daughter's case, the accident was preventable. But it was not irresponsibility, just an accident. And though I can think of so many ways that it could have been prevented, I can't change it. And though there were other people "closer" to the accident than me, I don't blame them, I can't. I accept the responsibility for the choices I made that contributed to her accident, and have released and forgiven all other from any contributing factors.

It was a simple drowning accident in a tiny little ornamental pond, which was near where all the children were playing, at Grams house that we were visiting that day. An ordinary day, a normal activity, a safe place, supervision abundant...a single moment that changed our lives forever.

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Old 02-23-2009, 01:46 AM
 
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Birth and death are not that far from each other and during pregnancy and birth death is always a possibility and something to ponder and come to some kind of acceptance of.
Its a matter of deciding on the setting that is least likely to result in death. I believe that a normal pregnancy is safer at home with a midwife if she is desired or alone if thats what a woman feels most empowered doing.
I have had a c-section and I knew I or my baby could die from the surgery or complications ect.
I have had a hospital vbac and knew that I could die from infection or a mistake or a cascade of interventions that might have been forced upon us.
I have had a birth center birth and knew that we could die from uterine rupture or cord prolapse.
I have had an unassisted homebirth and new that we could die from uterine rupture, placental abruption, hemorrhage, ect ect.
I knew with the homebirth that I did everything I could to plan for our experience and if a death were to occur I wanted it to happen in my home since it would more than likely be of causes that would have happened at home or in a hospital regardless. I knew that I would know when I needed to call the EMTs if that were in the fates and I took full responsibility to listen honestly to what my body and baby were telling me.

But each time I was either handed or birthed into my own hands a healthy baby and I beat the odds with determination, wisdom and trust in my body.
Life was never so sweet as it is in the moment of new life entering the world.
I take full responsibility for that as well as if something were to happen where I would have had to accept a passing.
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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"But what stops me here is that I'm not living in a vacuum. It's not just me involved. If I had a hospital birth and my baby died as a direct result of my choice to birth in a hospital, I would feel exactly the same responsibility and grief as if my baby died at home as a result of that choice. But in one instance I would be surrounded by people full of sympathy and compassion who would allow me to grieve, hold me and support me. In the other I would be viewed by the vast majority of the people in my life as having directly caused my baby's death, and so undeserving of sympathy or support. Not that the people in my life are so horrible, but honestly that's how they're taught to think. I doubt I'm alone in feeling like this. Anyone else? "

I have been thinking about this as well. I had a UC with my second son. When my mother found out she reacted more negatively than I had anticipated. She really felt that what my husband and I had done was akin to leaving our son in a dumpster. This is with a great outcome. I can't imagine what she would have done had something gone wrong. It does concern me the stigma that would go along with a dead baby at a UC birth.
I haven't read any stories about what happens when a UC baby dies. What does happen? What is the public's reaction? Does CPS get involved?

Cynthia--Among other things, I am a wife and mother to two boys.
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:09 AM
 
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It occurred to me after reading Kidzaplentys posts that I am afraid as much now that something unforeseen and awful will happen on a daily basis as I was during pregnancy and giving birth. I guess its an ongoing daily acceptance of my impermanence. Its funny how unaware I was before having my children.

I am so very sorry for your loss Jenny. So very sorry. I could not imagine. My heart goes out to you and your family.
Angela
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:39 AM
 
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Kidzaplenty, I am sorry for your loss.

When I was 32wks pregnant with my 3rd (planned up/uc, with midwife back-up) I attended a hospital birth in the capacity of doula (I'm trained and experienced.) I was not working at the time, but the parents are my longtime best friends. I attended them early at home, but when it was time to go to the hospital, I did not go (being so vastly pregnant myself, I'd encouraged them to hire another doula.) It turned out to be a long labor, and on the second day they needed some fresh energy. I went. Well, to cut it short, their baby suffered some undefined, undetected trauma during labor or birth, and only lived for a few days.

You know it wrecked me. The two year anniversary is coming up, and still, my peace is tenuous and fleeting.

After their baby's birth and death, I still had the task of bringing my baby safely into the world.

Responsibility weighed very heavily on me.

What I came to is that even if I had handed the decision making aspect over to a third party, I would still have held the responsibility for making that choice, and ultimately, I would still be responsible for the outcome.

So, as I prepared for birth, I had that visceral memory of failed resuscitation very clearly in my mind. If the state of maternity care in the US had been different (specifically, more evidence based,) I might have made a different decision. But, as it stood, I evaluated the risks and benefits and made a new commitment to my decision to uc.

Birth, like life, is not without risk. I accepted the responsibility of a damning set of risks in order to decline what I perceived to be a greater set of risks to which no reasonable person would hold me accountable.

Plainly, it was a choice between lower-risk, high accountability and higher-risk, no accountability.

To me, with that baby, the choice was obvious.

edited to add:

Quote:
"But what stops me here is that I'm not living in a vacuum. It's not just me involved. If I had a hospital birth and my baby died as a direct result of my choice to birth in a hospital, I would feel exactly the same responsibility and grief as if my baby died at home as a result of that choice. But in one instance I would be surrounded by people full of sympathy and compassion who would allow me to grieve, hold me and support me. In the other I would be viewed by the vast majority of the people in my life as having directly caused my baby's death, and so undeserving of sympathy or support. Not that the people in my life are so horrible, but honestly that's how they're taught to think. I doubt I'm alone in feeling like this. Anyone else? "
Yes. I posted with this in mind, but I hadn't fully digested it.

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Old 02-23-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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Thank you kidzaplenty for sharing. I'm so very sorry. What a terrible day that must have been for you and your family. I asked because I thought it was UC related. So, thanks again for sharing.

Rebecca
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:57 PM
 
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And to those who have UCed, how did you get past the fear, not of a terrible outcome per se, but of being blamed for that outcome by your community; family, friends, neighbours, colleagues... ?

Me personally, just knowing that what I was doing was between myself and God. Simple as that. If something bad happened, I would have turned to God. I suppose that would be all that I have - faith in God.

Erica, wife to Jason (March 2002) . Mama to Ava (June 2003) , Jason Jr. [AKA JJ] (August 2004) , Lila (January 2009) , Maura (October 2010) , and a new person in December 2012!
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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Okay, I've been thinking long and hard about this, and here is the upshot of where I'm at, personally, at the moment.

If I ever get pregnant again I would be strongly considering UC. All things being equal I probably would UC. If there were no other consideration I would have no problem taking responsibility for my birth. I hold myself responsible for the trauma I, and my DD, suffered during a homebirth transfer last time, even though there probably wasn't a lot I could have done differently in the situation I was in. So, just by dint of going to the hospital, or having a HB, I don't believe that that relieves me of any responsibility. If I weighed all the pros and cons and decided that overall I believed that UC was the best choice for me and my baby then I would be at peace with the outcome of that, even if it did happen that my baby died because of an unlikely complication that we couldn't get assistance for quickly enough because of being at home. I would be heartbroken, but I think I would accept that as a risk I took and understood, weighed against the all-too-likely risks of terrible things happening in a hospital birth.

But what stops me here is that I'm not living in a vacuum. It's not just me involved. If I had a hospital birth and my baby died as a direct result of my choice to birth in a hospital, I would feel exactly the same responsibility and grief as if my baby died at home as a result of that choice. But in one instance I would be surrounded by people full of sympathy and compassion who would allow me to grieve, hold me and support me. In the other I would be viewed by the vast majority of the people in my life as having directly caused my baby's death, and so undeserving of sympathy or support. Not that the people in my life are so horrible, but honestly that's how they're taught to think. I doubt I'm alone in feeling like this. Anyone else?

And to those who have UCed, how did you get past the fear, not of a terrible outcome per se, but of being blamed for that outcome by your community; family, friends, neighbours, colleagues... ?
you put it exactly how I feel. how it IS! and it's sad and wrong and sick honestly.

I am UCing for this one. because like you said. all of the prayer and research and experience tell em that home is the best place for the best outcome for this baby both phsyically emotionally and spiritually (all of which are equally important to me!). But it is truly hard knowing that if this baby dies at home people (most people) will feel I am less deserving of sympathy and love than a hospital birther would be. and it hurt and scares me termendously. I cannot stand the thought of being "blamed" for my child's death when I'm already suffering from the loss. how horrible the grief!

but on the the other hand... how would I feel going to birth in a hospital when I knew it wasn't the right place for this baby... and only doing it out of fear of what others said? and how AWFUL would i feel for compromising what I thought was best for this child out of fear? and how would it feel if the baby died or was hurt? I could not live with that guilt. it's one thing not to know better... but when you do there is no excuse.

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Old 02-23-2009, 02:53 PM
 
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Jenny,

thank you for sharing about your daughter with us. it truly puts life into prospective.


transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

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Old 02-23-2009, 06:27 PM
 
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Thank you all for your thought and 's. It has been five years from her accident and two years from her subsequent death, and it is still hard.

Yet, I enjoy sharing my experience because I think it can help others. It is a hard lesson to learn that life is full of risks and sometimes things just go wrong. It would be easier to be able to say that I did everything I could and it was just unpreventable. But as I have found out, that is rarely the case.

That is why I shared my story here. Though it was not a UC incident, the lessons were the same and what I have learned I hope will someone else to make the right choices and then be able to live with the outcome. Because you can not, no matter what you do, guarantee a perfect outcome.

You just have to assess the risks, make the choices that have the best odds of the outcome you desire, take a leap of faith, then just accept the responsibility for the outcome, no matter what it is.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:51 AM
 
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I had an unplanned UC. My HB midwife showed up almost an hour after the birth and after us bringing some things to her attention, was told our baby was fine. Our baby wasn't fine.

In our case, our baby would have survived had she been born in the hospital. The things we brought to the midwife's attention all added up to something serious and our baby needing medical help. If I knew anything about the condition, I could have sought medical help myself.

When you tell people that your baby died because of the fact that she was born at home, you are looked at like you are a murderer. Some people will commiserate with you while others blame you. On top of what others think, you have to live with yourself. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the roll that I played in my daughter's death. It's a hard pill to swallow. I know I blame myself and am harder on myself moreso than anyone else. Some days, it's difficult to just breathe. If I could go back in time, I would of gone to the hospital while I was in labor. I know some people choose to think that some things just happen. BUT, the reality from not only my case, but the cases of others, is that this happens because we made the choices we did. I understand some moms want to think that this would of happened regardless (true in cases for extreme prematurity and genetic anomlies). This, to me, seems like a cop out. I accept full responsibility for what happened but I do also blame the midwife because she was the person who was supposedly trained and experienced. I trusted her. My pregnancy had red flags that I was told were normal. Aside from birthing in the hospital, I should of been seeing a high risk OB. She saw the signs that I would have a premature baby. I trusted her advice and guidance. There is more to the part she played that I won't share here.
mommato5,
i read your blog. i am very sorry for your loss. it is something we all have to consider when we're having children, in the hospital, at a birth center, at home or UC.
may i ask why you blame the midwife and not the medics that were first on the scene?
my sister has had two homebirths, i was present at both. her daughter was happy and healthy. her son was a stillbirth. she is pregnant again and is planning a homebirth.
i still decided to have a homebirth, even after seeing what can happen. i will UC with my next.
the sad truth is, as you stated, babies die. it's the truth. because babies die during UCs or homebirths does not *necessarily* make hospital births safer. it's terrible that someone would blame you for your daughter's passing because you chose a homebirth. a couple in my birth class took their son to the NICU because of jaundice & the doctors were really angry with them and told them it was caused by the homebirth!
i hope your writing & research can help you heal & help others along the way. i know i will be forwarding a link to my sister.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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I saw that article on aol news yesterday...about the widowed dad who blogs. One of the photos was right after the c-sec. The mom was lying there, looking at her daughter for the first time. The caption said that was the one and only time the mom got to see her daughter. After that, they took the babe to the NICU and then the mom died. She didn't even get to touch her baby.

I would do an U/C over that any day.

It's like people think a doctor or a hospital will stop death.


And, personally, the idea of having no one else to blame if my baby dies is much more comforting than having to think another person was responsible for my babe's death.
Are you serious? If you were in that situation you would have rather given birth at home where you and your baby would have died? I just don't understand that. I am not trying to be mean or anything just trying to understand.
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:33 PM
 
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I think what she is saying here - is given that the circumstances where she was going to die, and her baby didnt have an immediate going to die situation - she would rather have had the 2 hours (or whatever) and be able to hold her baby, kiss, nurse, whatever rather than just see it through the plexi-glass. I think if I were in a life threatening situation - I would rather have my last breaths be with my baby, in the comfort of my home...thats just my thoughts.

Lindsay: DS#1 (06/06) DD#1 (09/07) DS#2 (10/08) DD#2 (06/09). AND A BABY DUE NOVEMBER 2013

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Old 03-02-2009, 03:10 AM
 
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: That is about it.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:35 AM
 
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I think what she is saying here - is given that the circumstances where she was going to die, and her baby didnt have an immediate going to die situation - she would rather have had the 2 hours (or whatever) and be able to hold her baby, kiss, nurse, whatever rather than just see it through the plexi-glass. I think if I were in a life threatening situation - I would rather have my last breaths be with my baby, in the comfort of my home...thats just my thoughts.
Definitely, and just thinking of that opportunity makes me weepy with the sacred beauty that is life.
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:03 AM
 
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bump

Wife to DH, Mom to my Intact Boys DS1: Born 02 Pain Med Free Hospital Birth, BF'ed for 9 Months, Partially Vax'd DS2: Born 06 via UC, BF'ed 3 years 10 months, and UnVax'd
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